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Judge approves Sawant recall effort for signature phase

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant speaks as demonstrators hold a rally outside of the Seattle Police Department's East Precinct on June 8, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

A King County judge has approved the recall efforts against Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant to move to the signature gathering phase.

Judge Jim Rogers dismissed two of the six charges, which had claimed that Sawant encouraged the occupation of the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct, and that she helped to create the CHOP.

The judge did approve four other charges, including those related to Sawant opening Seattle City Hall during an evening march in June, and leading a protest to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s home.

Read the full order here.

The petition was submitted by Seattle resident Ernie Lou on behalf of the “Recall City of Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant Committee.” Lou will now have to collect just over 10,700 certified paper signatures from registered voters, a number that would constitute 25% of total votes cast in the last District 3 election.

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That would then trigger a simple “yes” or “no” recall vote, which would have to take place on a previously scheduled election date. If Lou gathers enough signatures in time, the earliest possible date for a recall vote would be a special election on Feb. 9, 2021.

On Tuesday, the Seattle City Council voted 7-1 to pay for Sawant’s legal defense against the recall effort. Councilmember Debora Juarez was the lone no vote.

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